Citadel Associates

Citadel Associates work South Yorkshire wide delivering innovative projects designed to help vulnerable adults into training and career support.

Founded in 2008, the associates began with the clear aim of getting unemployed people into paid work. By working directly with unemployed people they were able to determine what support was needed to achieve this. What founder and director Dave Brazer found was that real skills, real experience, CVs and references made the biggest difference to their service users.

It was this that led to the opening, in 2014, of Ignition Autos Community Garage, to provide clients with real, hands on experience in a working environment. £5,000 in funding from the AESSEAL Charitable Trust Grassroots Endowment Fund enabled the not for profit social enterprise to cover the cost of rent as well as the purchase of new tools and equipment.

The project’s quick success at teaching employability skills to its service users has led to a growth in demand for its services and as a result a lack of equipment to accommodate everyone’s needs. The grant funding from SYCF has enabled the project to now provide the necessary tools and equipment for two groups of four, working eight hours a day, twice a week. The garage has even been able to help one young woman to begin to learn the trade, who has since moved on to finish her diploma at college on a full time basis.

It isn’t just about churning out mechanics, it’s about the process of supporting people to use transferable skills to go into employment, whatever they may be.

Matt (Age 44), was a homeless guy who came to us. He had lost his home, job, business, he had nothing. We have taken him on for twelve months, even though we normally only offer six month programmes. He’s got on his feet and he now has an apartment and works as a bouncer and has completed his IMI qualifications through us. He’s doing really well.

We set out to help the most marginalised people: ex-offenders, mentally ill, disabled, ethnic minorities. We have a wide range of people that we are working with right now

Dave Brazer, Director of Citadel Associates

Citadel Associates are already looking to the future and soon want be able to open more units like the Ignition Autos Community Garage with those they currently support helping to run them. They hope also that their successful model will be took up across the county and even UK wide.

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